Music to raise the spirits – the clergy choose

The Roman Catholic Poor Clares sisters of Arundel in the south of England have produced a CD of spiritually uplifting music to share in the pandemic. What a lovely and kind thing to do.

I thought about this and thought it would be good to ask a variety of people what their choices of uplifting music were, and to share choices. I began by asking some of the clergy connected with St Chrysostom’s. I asked what would you nominate as uplifting to help us through the dark days of the coming winter? It could be high brow it could be low brow, it may or not be directly ‘religious’ but it would be something that raised spirits. If possible I hoped we could give a link so we can listen to the piece offered. Here is the first list – from St Chrysostom’s clergy.

First of all Mtr Hilary writes, suggesting a lovely variety: I love Josh Groban’s voice particularly ‘Bring him home‘ from Les Miserables,  ‘Over the rainbow‘ also by him.I’ve been discovering different classical music mostly through the Morse and Endeavour programmes. No surprise there! So Gabriel Faure ‘In paradisum’ ‘Sanctus’ and ‘Agnus Dei’ 
I have recently been listening to the yellow brick cinema on you tube, it’s meditative music of Tibetan style with images to match, very relaxing in these difficult times I find. 

Fr Chris takes us to a different place – looking back at familiar hymns and especially ones from our tradition. He writes: “I have very diverse musical tastes, and I listen to many different things.  In these days I use music to”lift” my mood and thoughts.  Time and again I turn to “Walsingham Way” which is a collection of hymns of our Lady sung by the choir of SS Peter and Paul Wantage.  They are hymns that I can sing or hum along to, and be reminded of the joy and peace of Walsingham and “loose” myself.”

Fr Admos moves us to a different culture, writing:  I find the inculturation of traditional hymns by the Blind South African musician Steve Kekana spiritually uplifting but also soothing.

Mtr Kate reminds us that the music of Glenn Miller helped many people through the difficult days of the Second World War. Her choice is: Moonlight Serenade.

And from the Rectory… Mtr Kim nominates “Handel’s stirring anthem Zadok the Priest, and Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell, the common feature being they are very loud!”

And my choice arises from student days when began my love of the romantic and passionate music of Ravel. His Piano Concerto in G Major continues to lift me to new places. Its a wonderful blend of experiment and different traditions, while remaining resolutely French in feel. I love the recording made at the Nobel Prize Concert in 2009 with the outstanding pianist Martha Argerich.

And finally Mtr Kim suggests to raise a smile we listen to this song – The Worship Song Song – making gentle fun of some worship songs of the modern evangelical tradition – it’s a gem!

Fr Ian

Do listen to the pieces chosen.

This is the first in a series in the coming weeks in which people share their choices of uplifting music.

About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at
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1 Response to Music to raise the spirits – the clergy choose

  1. Fliss Morgan says:

    My first thoughts were…wow…how lucky we are to have 6 clergy at St C’s! And so then, 6 very interesting and varied choices. Music is my passion and so I was intrigued by them all. Of these, Faure, Ravel and Meatloaf stand out for me. But I’ve just listened to The Worship Song Song and laughed out loud…spot on…thank you Kim!

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